Here at Alive, we take youth ministry very seriously. Most of the time it involves some serious fun, but everything we do has a place and a purpose. Everything we do is driven by a formula that we have developed. We’ve gathered research from around the country and have looked at our goals here and applied several different things to our strategy and time.
What are our goals you ask? Well, it’s pretty straightforward! Everything we do is driven by our mission, “To lead students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.” Before we do anything, we ask ourselves, “How will this help students depend on Jesus?” This mission may seem vague and hard to assess, but we have found measurable ways to do it.
Our “win,” as we call it, is, “To see students discover and pursue a faith of their own.” To many people go to church and “borrow” faith from their family or the adults and friends around them. By watching them truly live out their faith by connecting to Alive, serving at The Church at Argyle, inviting others to join them, and giving back to the church, we see the relationship with Christ develop and form.
To see all of this become a reality, we have a formula that we live by at Alive. Our method is not very complex:
Relationship + Environments / Time
Let’s break this down.
Relationships are vital to the success of any teen that comes through our doors. We have a couple relationships that we deeply believe in. First, the Small Group Leaders. This group is our proverbial rock star. They are carefully chosen through an interview, background check and required training. There are multiple leaders per small group, and the best part is, the small group leaders stay with their students for three to four years depending on if they are in middle school or high school. These are the adults your students will come to know and love.
Our second relationship is with other students in the small group. Just like the adults, they are together for three or four years, grouped by age, and over time, the group will grow! Just like the leaders, these will be the students your teenager will come to know, love, and trust. It’s incredible to see some of these relationships form over time.
Now that we have relationships, we need to put them into some amazing environments. We feel very strongly about having an age appropriate environment for teens to enjoy. If they don’t like the environment, they won’t come. It’s that simple. We feel so strongly about that, we decided over the summer to renovate and revamp our space and program. We have spent time, money, blood, sweat, and even a few tears… we are an emotional group, don’t judge! While Jesus is so much bigger than any environment, we do not want the lack of an appropriate environment to get in the way of real life change.
Environments are so much more than the space. They include small group time, Renew; our brand new winter weekend event, summer camp, and outings led by our small group leaders. All of these are critical to building the relationships with each other and with Christ.
Relationships and environments are fantastic, but they are nothing without time. As a parent, you cannot expect your student to come once and be changed. It doesn’t always happen instantly. In fact, a lot of times it is a process that takes time. We believe that so immensely that there are very few weeks out of the year that we take off. Out of the 52 weeks, we meet for approximately 45. They are with us for about two hours a week which means if your student is there every week, we have 90 hours to make an impact in your teen’s life! Again, we take this time very seriously, and if they can be there, we want them to. We understand that sometimes sports, arts, and other school activities get in the way. We are okay with that. We just ask that when they are available, that they come! We know they will love it over time.
All of this is great, but there is still something significant missing. We call it our, “X Factor.” Our complete formula is:
(Relationships + Environments/Time)x
Our X Factor is so significant to us, so important and vital to our success.
Our X Factor is you, the parent.
While we have about 90 hours a year with your teen, you have exponentially more! We understand that you have a lot more time with your student, so we want to partner with you and help you. We don’t want to tell you how to raise your teen. Instead, our goal is to come along side of you and cheer you on as the parent.
Now that you know that you are the key, here is how we can all stay connected. First, stay informed. We communicate through several different methods, argylestudents.org, email, Facebook, and Instagram. Stay up to date on what we are talking about and what big events are coming up. Second, get to know your student’s small group leaders. They are just another piece of our formula, and when the parent and small group leaders work together, it makes everything that much better! The third and final thing is easy, serve. We do not care if you are serving with Alive, UpStreet, Amazing Place, or one of the many other areas of the church, just get involved. Your teen will follow your example if you do this.
Now you know what we are all about. We are all about caring for your student and helping all of them grow in a relationship with Jesus Christ. We have developed a formula to do just that and now need your help to put it into action. We are only truly effective as a ministry when we work together with you. We look forward to the future of Alive!